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Ski Resort Response to COVID-19

mbedle

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It will be interesting seeing how this plays out on the busy holiday weeks. I can't imagine that a family is going to reserve their week long rental for say Christmas, and come find out during the priority day reservation period, they can't ski on a couple or more days. I would guess that a lot of lodges will have very lax cancelation policies. This is also going to make it really hard for the powder chasers.
 

ss20

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Can you do better, I wonder? Won’t everyone be doing this?

No; I don't think it will be to this extent. Vail's company-wide approach to this is stupid because their portfolio is so diverse- soooo many different regions each with different levels of COVID and regulation.

I think Alterra and the independents will make their judgments based on their local conditions regarding Covid rather than paint a broad brush like Vail.
 

machski

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No; I don't think it will be to this extent. Vail's company-wide approach to this is stupid because their portfolio is so diverse- soooo many different regions each with different levels of COVID and regulation.

I think Alterra and the independents will make their judgments based on their local conditions regarding Covid rather than paint a broad brush like Vail.
Sorry, rumor in the know is Alterra is going similar to Epic and working on their system now. As small as they are, Magic beat Vail saying they will have a reservation system for skiing AND lodge use.

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BenedictGomez

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This is also going to make it really hard for the powder chasers.

Ughh..... I hadn't even considered that.
Hopefully it isnt as bad as it sounds & all skiing isnt going to be "by appointment" only.


Vail's company-wide approach to this is stupid because their portfolio is so diverse- soooo many different regions each with different levels of COVID and regulation.

Exactly, but it's the most Vail thing ever to the point where we honestly all should have predicted it.

EVERYONE must CONFORM to the mothership's directives right down to subparagraph B on page 837 of the manual.
 

Edd

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No; I don't think it will be to this extent. Vail's company-wide approach to this is stupid because their portfolio is so diverse- soooo many different regions each with different levels of COVID and regulation.

I think Alterra and the independents will make their judgments based on their local conditions regarding Covid rather than paint a broad brush like Vail.

Seems like Vail is falling in line with the rest of society, pretty much. It’s all crowd control. It has to be managed.
 

cdskier

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Sorry, rumor in the know is Alterra is going similar to Epic and working on their system now. As small as they are, Magic beat Vail saying they will have a reservation system for skiing AND lodge use.

I'd fully expect something similar from Alterra for the resorts they own. As for the Ikon partners, it will be up to each one I expect on whether they require reservations. Some will and perhaps some won't. I think at the very least starting with a reservation system up front is a good idea. Then you see how it works and can always remove it later on if not needed. Much harder to start without it and have over-crowding and then have to implement it mid-season than to start with it and simply take it away if you realize you don't have any capacity issues.
 

thebigo

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Well there's a limit on how many you can make...you can only have 7 "priority access" days reserved at a time and for "standard" reservations you can only make them for that current week.

Then there's also this:
"We reserve the right to restrict the ability of the pass holder to make future reservations if the reservation system is being abused or manipulated in any way."

I would like to see some sort of a hard penalty. Something along the lines of pass suspension for a set period if a set number of reserved days are unused.

Other than the potential for abuse, I like the system. We ski around a schedule, not weather. I will be on the website the minute reservations open. Other positives are the plan to proceed with most kids seasonal programs and targeted opening dates in November for all NH/VT, including wildcat on 11/13, obviously weather dependent. Interesting no opening listed for Crotched, likely an oversight.
 

njdiver85

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Let me make sure I understand this . . . outside of the 7 "priority access" reservations that will perhaps be made for a holiday week, and once we are in the regular season, EPIC season pass holders will NOT have any sort of priority in making their "standard" reservations. They will need to compete with the day ticket holders to try and get a reservation for skiing for any given upcoming week! What a way to say f/u to all the season pass holders! I believe this will be a real problem.
 

mister moose

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Has anyone floated the 1/2 day option? People get their choice of 8-12, or 12-4 on Saturdays or Holidays. No lunch in lodges that way. Shorter day, but you serve twice as many people. Spend all your time on snow, none in the bathroom line, coffee line, or lunch line. Rest of the days reserve your 8 hours.
 

billo

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Let me make sure I understand this . . . outside of the 7 "priority access" reservations that will perhaps be made for a holiday week, and once we are in the regular season, EPIC season pass holders will NOT have any sort of priority in making their "standard" reservations. They will need to compete with the day ticket holders to try and get a reservation for skiing for any given upcoming week! What a way to say f/u to all the season pass holders! I believe this will be a real problem.

Remind me how many people have been infected outside while skiing?
 

drjeff

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No; I don't think it will be to this extent. Vail's company-wide approach to this is stupid because their portfolio is so diverse- soooo many different regions each with different levels of COVID and regulation.

I think Alterra and the independents will make their judgments based on their local conditions regarding Covid rather than paint a broad brush like Vail.

Personally, I can see why Vail took this approach across their entire portfolio (and why I'm guessing Alterra/IKON will too). It makes it consistent for their customers when they go from resort to resort, to have the exact same system in place, so there will be no surprises when say someone from the East goes out West to a resort on their pass. They'll get their day on the hill the same way they have been in the East.

Do I necessarily like it? Nope. But the reality is that given the likely scrutiny ski areas will face from public health officials and the social media presence of some videos of lift lines and then the "Karen" response to those videos, the ski areas need to play by the rules that the various Department of Public Health's in each state/region put out there, if they want to operate.

Plans like Vail put forth are basically the "best least worst" option for them as we approach this ski season.
 

BenedictGomez

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Personally, I can see why Vail took this approach across their entire portfolio (and why I'm guessing Alterra/IKON will too). It makes it consistent for their customers when they go from resort to resort, to have the exact same system in place, so there will be no surprises when say someone from the East goes out West to a resort on their pass. They'll get their day on the hill the same way they have been in the East.

I dont feel that's treating your customers like adults. We've been living with this for > 6 months now, and it will be ~9 months by the time ski season's here.

Am I really to believe that people dont understand different states & areas have different rules after almost a full year of this issue consuming every facet of our entire lives? To me it just seems like typical Vail, (say it slowly with a zombie voice), "ev-ree-one muhst beeeeee thuhhhhh saymmeeeeee" mentality.
 

Edd

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I dont feel that's treating your customers like adults. We've been living with this for > 6 months now, and it will be ~9 months by the time ski season's here.

Am I really to believe that people dont understand different states & areas have different rules after almost a full year of this issue consuming every facet of our entire lives? To me it just seems like typical Vail, (say it slowly with a zombie voice), "ev-ree-one muhst beeeeee thuhhhhh saymmeeeeee" mentality.

Predictability seems to be the point. Plus, you’ll have skiers from different states mixing, east and west. Adopting a standard makes sense to me.
 

drjeff

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I dont feel that's treating your customers like adults. We've been living with this for > 6 months now, and it will be ~9 months by the time ski season's here.

Am I really to believe that people dont understand different states & areas have different rules after almost a full year of this issue consuming every facet of our entire lives? To me it just seems like typical Vail, (say it slowly with a zombie voice), "ev-ree-one muhst beeeeee thuhhhhh saymmeeeeee" mentality.

In a society where we have a tough time not only getting some people to wear a mask in public places, let alone getting them to properly wear a mask and practice appropriate hand hygiene, unfortunately I think that we do need to homogenize things, maybe not for the masses, but for the few who often seem to have great difficulty dealing with changes... :roll::roll::roll::roll:
 
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In a society where we have a tough time not only getting some people to wear a mask in public places, let alone getting them to properly wear a mask and practice appropriate hand hygiene, unfortunately I think that we do need to homogenize things, maybe not for the masses, but for the few who often seem to have great difficulty dealing with changes... :roll::roll::roll::roll:
Just responding to you because this is most recent, but it seems to be more about covering their a$$ legally than anything else.

Why open yourself up to the possibility of someone suing you because they got Covid at a "relaxed" NH-based resort (e.g. Sunapee), but they "never would have contacted it" if Sunapee had followed the protocols Vail had in place at a "stringent" CA-based resort such as Heavenly?

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deadheadskier

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Mcdonald's serves a Big Mac at every store. They're a franchise.

Vail is also a franchise. I'd expect more standardization moving forward.

Common products, common training and consistency is pretty much the goal of "brands."

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icecoast1

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Just responding to you because this is most recent, but it seems to be more about covering their a$$ legally than anything else.

Why open yourself up to the possibility of someone suing you because they got Covid at a "relaxed" NH-based resort (e.g. Sunapee), but they "never would have contacted it" if Sunapee had followed the protocols Vail had in place at a "stringent" CA-based resort such as Heavenly?

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If they really want to cover themselves, they'll have everybody sign a waiver at the time of making a reservation saying they wont sue, given today's sue happy world we live in, that would be a smart thing to do.
 

BenedictGomez

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Just responding to you because this is most recent, but it seems to be more about covering their a$$ legally than anything else.

I think this is a great point & probably plays into it. By standardizing they can at least make the claim that company-wide best practices were put in place (even if some of them are anti-science & idiotic like the gondola policy).
 
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If they really want to cover themselves, they'll have everybody sign a waiver at the time of making a reservation saying they wont sue, given today's sue happy world we live in, that would be a smart thing to do.
I'm not a lawyer but I understand these agreements aren't worth a whole lot practically speaking. Common conservative protocols are probably the best bet. I'd also expect Alterra's plan to look almost identical to Vail. Any material inconsistency between the two is a liability for whoever operates more liberally.

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SLyardsale

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I'm not a lawyer but I understand these agreements aren't worth a whole lot practically speaking. Common conservative protocols are probably the best bet. I'd also expect Alterra's plan to look almost identical to Vail. Any material inconsistency between the two is a liability for whoever operates more liberally.

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This is why the R's want liability protection in the phase 4 Cares Act. With out the liab protection, we're gonna see these types of decisions across all industries. The D's are fighting back against liab protection.
 
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